Breaking in a Peterson

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Preferred Member
Salutations Ladies and Gentlemen,
I do not own any Peterson High-Grade/Upper Grade pipes so my experience is based on Peterson's Entry Level and Christmas Pipes. ($80-$125). These pipes take extremely long time to break-in, I usually smoke the same pipe in my collection about 3-4 times a week (depending on the blend of course). For example the Peterson 2014 Christmas, took almost a year to become a really nice smoker. The same is the case with the 2015 Peterson Christmas pipe, it has now begun to smoke better.
Is the break-in period all normal or is something wrong?
What have been your experience with Peterson Pipes. Do let me know.




Preferred Member
Nov 17, 2015
Springfield, Mo
I was just speaking with the "pipe guy" at my local B&M about this topic.
Every pipe is different; some are easy break-ins, some are more stubborn. My (and his) personal experience with Peterson pipes are that they can be, on the whole, a bit temperamental. He said that he had actually given up on buying new Petersons, until their supplier had gifted him a new one once, in order to make amends over some drama. He went on to say that that particular Peterson ended up breaking in and smoking great.
Most of my Peterson Christmas pipes broke in relatively quickly, but there was this one 2015 version that had I had the hardest time with. It took a couple of months of break-in, and then letting it rest for an entire year, before it started smoking well.
These are just my personal experiences on the matter, ymmv.



Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2013
My Dracula fits in those parameters. It took about 15 bowls. Not terrible. But with the amount of Pete's I have purchased in the last 6 months, I may never get them broken in even with 15 bowls. lol



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
Pretty much my experience. Two Arans I got a couple of years ago needed over 30 bowls each before they "went good". A spigot billiard started out well and has remained so. I've guessed that some of the briar wasn't as aged or cured as well as it could have been, or maybe just wasn't the best to start with- or a bit of both!



Senior Member
Apr 10, 2016
No problems high or lower grades.......but I have two Dunhills..........I also have Dunhills smoking fine etc.




Preferred Member
Jun 4, 2014
I guess I lucked out, of my seven Peterson's the only one that had a hard break in was my Kinsale XL20.



Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2014
All my Petersons have come with the pre coated bowls, but I have still noticed progressive performance improvement over time with about a 30 bowls being the maximum. My Chacoms come with bare wood and the break in period is similar. It seems pipes just like to be smoked, Peterson or otherwise.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Petersons do take more smokes than most pipes, although they do reach satisfactory in a dozen or so bowls, and then it takes about year in the rotation to really smoke well. I have a K&P author that I'd given up on, but it eventually came along nicely, but it was two years or more before I noticed it was really quite good. Do they over-coat the bowls? Is the briar not aged quite enough? Is it the humidity in Ireland that affects their storage? My Petes are good pipes, none with quality control issues, but they are slow to unfold, it's true. I've visited Ireland twice, and it is an odd climate. The weather can change four or five or more distinct times during the day. Some areas are so mild, maybe from the Gulf Stream (?) that they actually have palm trees. It doesn't surprise me that briar might lead a different existence on the Emerald Isle.



Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
I smoke all my new pipes twice a day for a week. All full bowls, and clean up with pipe cleaners after each smoke. After a week, a nice carbon layer is in the bowl, and I give the pipe at least a week before I smoke it again. I usually only buy pipes with no bowl coating, but when I do get one with it, I remove it with sandpaper.



Preferred Member
Aug 2, 2016
I've often heard the claim that Petes take a while to break in but that has never been true for me-or maybe I'm easy to please. :lol:



Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
I eventually will get something from the Sherlock Holmes line to see what the fuss is about, but sadly, Peterson is far down on my acquisition list. :?



Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2015
Its taken about 20 bowls on my Dracula, and just now Im starting to see its potential, i also have a tankard thats taken about a year to break in. It was really fussy, but Im glad I didnt give up on it, because it smokes those VAs so nicely. That being said, my other pipes are Savinellis which both smoked awesomely from the get go, as well as a Stanwell which was the same.



Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2016
When I was new I heard stories of the extended break-in time for Pete's, but then again at that time they were dipping their pipes. That penny-pinching practice left me with a decidedly negative opinion of their pipes such that I own nary a one. But this thread has been enlightening as I read that Petes are still a chore in this regard. But as the Pete problem persists, I stand forewarned to avoid them forever.



Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
I've never had any problems with "breaking in" any of my Pete's, fill with tobacco, light and smoke. No problem.



Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
Akron area of Ohio
In my limited experience with Petersons, the dip staining can be a bigger. It left mine with a taste to the briar that did not seem to improve. Nowadays, if I had those pipes, I would scrub the devil out of the mortise and draft hole with bristle pipecleaners soaked in alcohol and sand out the bowl a bit. Neither occurred to me back then.
Mike S.



New member
Nov 22, 2016
Kannapolis, NC
Great info, I'm new again. Had a Dr. Grabow 30yrs. ago and then stopped. Just started back 3 months ago. I right off wanted a Pete. But not there yet. I'm not sure what a pipe that is not broken in acts like, I bought a cheap Yellobow Zolu and it may be "that pipe that's just not good" or it may not be braking in well. I received as Christmas gifts two pipes. One a kit pipe from pipes and Cigars, a Cassillero 125, $40 pipe and it's a great smoker right out of the bag. I've got to where it's my goto. The other was a Bjorn Viking Church Warden, now it is the smoothest coolest thing yet for me, right out of the bag. With the YelloBow I did the 1/4 bowl, 1/2 bowl, full bowl thing and with the others I just smoked them full bowl.

Thanks guys

PS still have the Dr.Graybo and it still smokes good



Sep 25, 2015
Central Minnesota
In Dec. I received a system XL305 new. I have no complaints, but the RH in MN this time of year is about 35%.

This might have something to do with it.
It smoked a bowl of Irish oak every other day for 2 weeks. Filled it full, smoked low and slow.
Broke in fine, it performs really well.
( no stain in this pipe)



Junior Member
Sep 10, 2012
I have broken in about 30 new Petersons so far. The hardest took 50-75 smokes but came along really nice. Their high-end pipes without bowl coating did take less time.

50 others still to go, I'll keep you posted:)



Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2016
I have broken in about 30 new Petersons so far. The hardest took 50-75 smokes but came along really nice. Their high-end pipes without bowl coating did take less time.

50 others still to go, I'll keep you posted:)
So, you're the guy Sam Clemens hired to break in his cobs? :lol: